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Orville Redenbacher, Brazil to be featured on Food Network

Friday, March 10, 2006

It's hard to imagine good news these days but when it comes, it pours out like salt on hot-buttered popcorn-- on Orville Redenbacher's gourmet popcorn that is!

"It seems like we are getting all kinds of good news involving the Redenbacher Popcorn Festival," said Janice Cox, festival vice-president, when she was told about more good news. When told, she further stated, "Having a Redenbacher Scholarship Pageant in April and offering other scholarships to county students is wonderful, but to be contacted by Al Roker Productions for a featured story about the Popcorn Festival, Orville and Clay County is more exciting news and this is going to put this county into the national spotlight.

"A great deal of our continued success over the past three years has been greatly attributed to the outpouring of continued community support and this is just one more way of recognizing this great community. The can-do efforts and positive input from our small group has had an infectious effect in spurring this vast interest."

Earlier this week, the Popcorn Festival was notified by an associate producer at Al Roker Productions in New York City who operates the Food Network cable channel about doing a show in Brazil on the Popcorn Festival, Orville Redenbacher and the county he was born and raised in. We all know Al Roker as NBC's weatherman on "The Today Show" but to know he owns a production company also shows the many talents of this wonderful man.

The Food Network is planning a new series called "foodography" that will highlight famous people who have made tremendous strides in food businesses and of course, Orville was one of the top contenders for a one-hour show to be presented on the Food Network at 9 p.m., June 23.

Associate Producer Jihan Elgibali wrote an e-mail stating:

"What we would like to do on the show is to come to Brazil and speak with any relatives or close friends who would have special stories they could share on camera about Orville. We may ask one of these people to go to the old water pump and shoot around the barn, etc. (at the old home place.). We may be interested in the museum, and definitely in any footage or photos you have of the Popcorn Festival that you feel would appropriately represent the Festival. We hope to come to Brazil in the next 2-3 weeks-- the schedule is still in the works."

The greatest feeling came when the associate producer asked if we knew any Redenbacher family members who were involved with the Festival and if we could interview them. Of course, that was an easy reply and so a call was placed to Orville's daughter, Gail Redenbacher Tuminello and she was delighted and agreed to gather as many of the Redenbacher family members to do interviews with the crew. Gail has stated before how pleased she and family were that the Popcorn Festival "-- is all about Orville, and Dad would have been so pleased-- he would have loved what they have done."

The Popcorn Festival was notified a day later that on the Brazil-Redenbacher shoot, that another producer, Ms. Ann Jones, from New York City will meet with a local Indianapolis crew to do the interviews and obtain film footage for the Food Network show. At this time, the tentative dates for the shoot are either March 21 or March 24.

At this time, the producer is trying to contact Orville's grandson Garry Redenbacher, to do an interview in San Diego, Calif., around the same time as the Brazil-Redenbacher shoot. Al Roker Productions will also provide agendas and preparation instructions before doing any interviews and will let the Festival Board members know ahead of time what they would like to shoot for the show.

"This county is very fortunate to have this chance to get national exposure," said Popcorn Festival Board Chair President Evelyn Brown. Once the board members were notified, Evelyn called Mayor Tom Arthur, the Chamber of Commerce, Charlie Brown of the Clay County Commissioners, and local newspapers to share the good news.

"Everyone was excited and offered their support and assistance as needed. This is what makes this community a great place to live," Evelyn said. "Mayor Tom Arthur and Janice Cox have stated this is a shot-in-the-arm for Clay County and I agree."

The name of the Food Network show is ""foodography"" and, as the name implies, it's looking at food from different geographical areas of our nation.

This particular episode is dedicated to what they call "Supermarket Sensations" that will feature Orville Redenbacher, as well as include two other famous supermarket sensations; Joseph Campbell (Campbell's soups), and Hector Boiardi (better known Chef Boy-ar-dee).

If you search the Web site for this new show, it will not come up since it is truly in its early stage of development.

To be chosen as one of the first guests for this new show is overwhelming for everyone.

If you have any great stories you wish to share or you know of anyone who knew Orville that can tell a few yarns, please contact Glen and Evelyn Brown at 448-2307 or e-mail us at evelyn@popcornfest.net or glen@popcornfest.net.

Since the shoot will take place this month please call or e-mail the stories as quickly as possible.

This is a one-shot deal for our county to do the best it can on a national scale.

So, if you know of a story or anecdote, please forward as soon as possible. There is no guarantee it will be used, but it is worth a try.

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